About Aid Watch
The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.
"Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking." - H.L. Mencken
- Rukmini on Aid Watch blog ends; New work on development begins : This has been a valuable resource for me and I’m sorry to see it...
- Jesse on From Hell to Prosperity: I would like to see this graph with a comparative one which shows the number of people in each religion...
- Ellie on Aid Watch blog ends; New work on development begins : Sad to see you go, but I certainly respect the decision. Hope it is...
- Vivek Nemana on From Hell to Prosperity: Jeff, Well, the billionaire effect might explain a disproportionately high mean income, but...
- M on Aid Watch blog ends; New work on development begins : I agree that Bill and Laura should think about how they can get their message...
- Mr. Econotarian on Are Lax US Gun Laws Spilling Violence into Mexico? : The paper says: “DHS data gives the number of illegal...
Bill Easterly tweets
- Why are they singing pro-Confederacy song "Maryland, my Maryland" at Preakness horse race? about 15 hours ago from Twitter for iPad ReplyRetweetFavorite
- RT @hangingnoodles: "a self-satirizing plan…pouring in money to a fictional government” http://t.co/K9yCiLgs06 @bill_easterly NYT on Mali … 09:29:12 PM May 17, 2013 from Twitter for iPad ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Good article on aid to Mali, even though I'm quoted http://t.co/1aWi9mjWAo 02:03:59 PM May 17, 2013 from bitly ReplyRetweetFavorite
- RT @dandrezner: Um... http://t.co/R8U5P6jbid MT @bill_easterly Thoughtful, well-written critique of Krugman anti-austerity crusade http://t… 06:43:31 PM May 16, 2013 from Twitter for iPad ReplyRetweetFavorite
Aid Watch tweets
- Where is the line between marketing social impact and exploitation? | http://t.co/YTc7AoLRMc via @Thehumanosphere 06:25:08 PM May 17, 2013 from Buffer ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Why the rise in global trade may have less to do with policy and more to do with metal boxes. http://t.co/QN6uw0wLys via @TheEconomist 05:57:06 PM May 17, 2013 from Buffer ReplyRetweetFavorite
- “I thought you were here to help.” http://t.co/z7hbKP8RtX via @NYTimes 05:29:12 PM May 17, 2013 from Buffer ReplyRetweetFavorite
- African traders flocked to Guangzhou for the cheap goods but are staying to run manufacturing operations http://t.co/gK7jmSS3qW via @qz 05:03:40 PM May 17, 2013 from Buffer ReplyRetweetFavorite
Category Archives: Military aid
A recent Christian Science Monitor article reported that USAID is “losing hearts and minds” in Afghanistan’s northeastern Badakshan province because of failed and shoddy projects, corruption, secrecy and waste.
Given how much of the US aid budget is spent trying to make the world a safer and more secure place for Americans, you might think there would be plenty of studies testing the hypothesis that aid funds can reduce terrorism or shift hostile public…
This post is by Adam Martin, a post-doctoral fellow at DRI.
On July 1 the Department of Defense rolled out two notable new projects that will undoubtedly inaugurate a new era of peace and safety for the streets of Gotham international community. Even the world’s greatest detective could not have seen this coming.
The New York Times had a front pager today on a story that this blog (twice: Dec 22, 2009 and Dec 12, 2009 ) and other blogs has been all over for months – the use of nonsensical Powerpoint slides to guide the US military in Afghanistan. The NYT reproduced the infamous Afghan nation-building spaghetti chart over most of the front page:
“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Gen. James N. Mattis of
@bill_easterly instead of trying to be funny, can you actually explain your beef with peacekeeping?
Well, @undispatch, if you click on the category, “aid goes military” at the bottom of this post, you will get more than you probably want to hear from this blog on this topic. You are also welcome to check out my New York Review of Books article Aid goes military!…
What do Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp, and L-3 Communications Inc. have in common?
Yes, all are top 10 Pentagon contractors. But they are also increasingly winning lucrative government contracts to implement “smart power” or “nation-building” programs—like educating peacekeeping troops in human-rights law, sending anthropologists to Afghanistan to understand local culture, mentoring Liberian prosecutors to combat corruption and crime, and rebuilding airports and government ministries.
Hillary Clinton and others in the administration have helped…
Hillary Clinton recently declared: “We are working to elevate development and integrate it more closely with defense and diplomacy in the field…The three Ds must be mutually reinforcing.”
Clinton says that the 3D approach will elevate development to the level of diplomacy and defense. Unfortunately, it could instead lower development further to an instrument employed to achieve military or political priorities. Clinton foresaw these objections: “There is a concern that integrating development means diluting it or politicizing…
1) “State failure” is leading to confused policy making.
For example, it is causing the military to attempt overly ambitious nation-building and development to approach counter-terrorism, under the unproven assumption that “failed states” produce terrorism.
2) “State failure” has failed to produce any useful academic research in economics.
You would expect a major concept to be the subject of research by economists (as well as by other fields, but I am using economics research…
News sources say that President Obama will choose “escalate” with additional troops for Afghanistan in his speech at West Point tonight. I and many like-minded individuals find this disastrous.
“Like-minded” means that critics of top-down state plans for economic development are also not fans of top-down state plans for military development. If the Left likes the first, and the Right likes the second, that just shows you how incoherent Left and Right are.
There has been a remarkable escalation in the scale and intrusiveness of aid interventions over the years (this was one of the major conclusions of my survey paper on aid to Africa).
It seems to be reaching the reductio al absurdum in the current debate on whether to escalate US intervention in Afghanistan.
Let’s review the record:
The following is the text of an email I received today after asking Lieutenant General William Caldwell IV for comment as one of the authors of the United States Army’s Manual with some economic development ideas that I criticized:
Dear Dr. Easterly,
LTG Caldwell is currently on personal leave and not regularly receiving
This is a very important topic to him — the manual to which you refer